For being home, Sleigh Ride, & an end to waiting - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 51

#SevenGratitudes is a weekly gratitude practice for the enlivening of my soul, a deepening engagement with the world, and simple encouragement for anyone who stops by.

Thanks for being here.


This week I am grateful…

1

To be home.

actually home

After our 16-and-a-half hour journey last Friday, Mama and I arrived in Dallas just before 10 p.m. Every light in the house was on, the Sufjan Stevens’ Holiday channel was blaring, and there were candles galore. The house glimmered and shined with welcome.

Nothing will ever compare, though, to my husband’s smiling eyes and the way it felt to fly into his arms.

2

For my mama’s tuned-in presence.

Mama

Mama stayed with us just until yesterday morning. What a tricky time to hang out with your grown child and her spouse! In the span of a week I finished grad school, had a birthday, said goodbye to a beloved community, drove half-way across the country, and re-entered my home with my husband. Mom was there to witness the wake of all that—ALL THE EMOTIONS.

She noted every single one, I feel sure.

Thankful for both the space she gave me and the space she shared with me.

3

For a happy engagement.

Adam is engaged!

My youngest brother Adam said yes together with the love of his life, my future sister-in-law Jessica! I am so thankful for this good, good news. What a gift it is to see the love of God swirl up and bubble over these beautiful loved ones!

4

For “Sleigh Ride.”

Wilshire Winds

One night a few weeks ago Aaron asked what Christmas-y things I might want to do when I got home. All I want, I said, is to hear “Sleigh Ride” performed live. That’s it.

Well, folks, our church orchestra had a concert Wednesday evening and, wouldn’t you know, the first piece of the night was none other than that.

Grateful for happy coincidences, and grateful for church folks who work together and share their gifts with us all.

Here's a fun recording of Sleigh Ride I found on YouTube:

5

For the sneaky joy of gift-wrapping.

Yesterday afternoon I spent several hours wrapping gifts and it was wonderful. Nothing beats the wrapping process. I find that I hold my breath--in anticipation of the giving and pure nervousness that Aaron will walk in any minute!

I am thankful for the chance to prepare presents. Grateful for the holy sneaker-y of it all—for the chance to give and to remember that I am received.

Here is a beautiful “Garland of Tales” I ran across this week about St. Nicholas of Myra, a wondrously notorious gift-giver.   

6

For supper with neighbors tonight.

Y’all, in just a few hours a few of my neighbors are coming over for homemade pizza. Ah! How absolutely beautiful it is to be able to do this again here in Dallas, to commune over victuals and vino with these particular friends.

Thankful to be welcomed again into this community.

7

That Christmas is coming—that the wait is almost over.

I love Advent. I love the intentional waiting and preparation of it. But. I have to be honest and say that I am feeling quite finished with it right at this moment, after such a semester of working and waiting and anticipating.

Even though I can hardly stand it, I am going to lean into the invitations of Advent just a while longer. I am going to feel the rising tension, the gravity of it all. I am going to pay attention and let the waiting find its form in purpose, prayer, and playful creativity. Trimming the wicks and what not.

Christmas is coming. Emmanuel once more is only two days away, so the waiting won't swallow us up. The End, the aim and hope of it all, is so very near.

Thanks be to God.


Thanks for pausing in gratitude with me, beloveds.

Blessings to you and yours in the coming days--

L